Following the recent announcement that United Airlines President and CEO, Oscar Muñoz, will return to lead the company on March 14 after a period of convalescence from a heart transplant operation, the airline announces three new independent directors appointed to the United Board.
There selection reveals a focus by the airline on improving its access to and management of capital, strengthening its position among global carriers in the aviation political landscape, and developing an organisation at a the cutting edge of technology.
James A.C. Kennedy, Robert A. Milton and James M. Whitehurst, the airline states, will join the board effective immediately.
James Kennedy, 62, is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of global investment management company T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. Before joining T. Rowe, Mr. Kennedy participated in the Financial Management training Program at General Electric.
Robert Milton, 55, was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ACE Aviation Holdings Inc., and was Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada. Milton was also a past director of US Airways, Inc., and a past Chairman of the Board of Governors of IATA (The International Air Transport Association).
James Whitehurst, 48, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Red Hat, Inc., a leading provider of open source enterprise IT products and services. Prior to Red Hat, Mr. Whitehurst spent six years at Delta Air Lines, Inc., where he managed airline operations, drove international expansion as COO, and helped the airline emerge from bankruptcy in 2007.
“For some time, the Board has been evaluating potential director candidates with the assistance of a leading search firm and with the benefit of shareholder input,” said Henry L. Meyer III, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board.
“We believe these accomplished executives, who have deep airline or other relevant experience, will provide invaluable perspective as we build on our strong momentum by continuously working to improve operations. We remain focused on investing in our products and services to earn the trust of our customers and employees and to create long-term value for our shareholders,” Meyer added.
Oscar Munoz, who will resume his role as President and Chief Executive Officer on March 14, said of the appointments:
“I am excited that three world-class, independent directors are joining the Board and believe they will help achieve our goal of generating superior value for shareholders. I look forward to working together with the Board and the management team to accelerate the positive momentum of our operational turnaround while continuing to innovate and elevate our employee and customer experience.”